Why Should I Monitor My Website?

Oct 28, 2022 | Website

If you’re a small business owner it can be hard to keep your website up to date when you’re busy running a business, especially if you offer an off-line ‘word of mouth’ service that doesn’t exclusively rely on e-commerce or digital tools to be successful.

10 years ago, this may have been true, when a ‘word of mouth’ service was a more sustainable way to increase awareness and gain loyal customers. But with over 8.5 billion searches on Google happening every day, and an increased reliance on online interactions, it would short-sighted not to optimise your website/online presence and risk missing out on a huge customer base.

The online world moves quickly, and it is not enough to just press ‘publish’ and never look at your website again. That is where monitoring comes in. This means using tools like Google Analytics or Microsoft Clarity (both free) to track how people are using your website, allowing you to make changes when needed and feel reassured that your website is bringing in new customers!

What is website monitoring?

Essentially website monitoring involves regularly testing and analysing your website to make sure it is healthy, effective, and performing how you would like. This may be done daily, weekly, or monthly and will look different for every business, but should ultimately answer these questions:

• Is my website secure?
• Is my website usable?
• What can I do to increase my websites visibility and reach more customers?
• What can I do to increase the number of website visitors who convert from browsers to buyers?

The advantages of monitoring a website

There are many benefits to monitoring your website (that we will delve into later) but here are some of the key reasons you should be doing it.

Security: Effective website monitoring means that if your website crashes or there is an attempted hack, you will be able to spot it and address it right away. It will also keep you in line with data protection laws and GDPR.

Optimisation: Knowing how, why, and when people are accessing your website and how they behave when they get there will allow you to effectively plan your marketing and spot opportunities to make better use of your marketing budget.

Saving money: Effective monitoring will not only help you get the most out of your website investment, it will help you avoid wasting money on marketing activities that aren’t working work for you and will help avoid the sometimes astronomical costs associated with recovering from a hack.

Types of website monitoring

If you are new to website monitoring or perhaps you have just launched a website, it can seem like a daunting topic. Luckily there are lots of free tools you can use to get started, or you can look to our website maintenance packages and hand the job over to the experts!

Even if you do decide to outsource your website monitoring, it’s important to understand what’s involved as it can play a big part in overall marketing decisions. For example, you find out through your website analysis that most people are searching for your service at the weekends, therefore you should dedicate more of your ad spend to these days.

The three key types of website monitoring you should consider are performance monitoring, analytics tools, and security monitoring.

Performance Monitoring

This kind of monitoring looks at the performance of your website from a technical and user perspective. Some key metrics you will need to consider are:

Page size: How ‘heavy’ your website is, with things like large image files and video.

Page speed: The amount of time it takes to request a page and have the page load fully, essentially how ‘fast’ your website is.

Error rate: The percentage of server requests that contain errors.

Time to interact: The time it takes for a user to interact with your website on their first visit (such as clicking a button).

Uptime: How long your website is ‘up’ without issue. Prolonged ‘down time’ will affect usability and how people feel about your company.

Analytics Tools

Website analytics are essential to running any business, both online and offline. We recommend Google Analytics to get you started (we set this up for all our website design and maintenance clients!). Whether you use Google Analytics or another alternative, there will be some key metrics you should monitor to assess customer journey and track your leads/sales.

Page views: How many times each page on your website has been viewed, high organic page views generally indicate you have a well optimised website.

Average time on page: How long a user is spending on each page, generally a longer view time means the user is engaged and interested.

Devices and demographics: What type of device people are using to access your website as well as what country they are coming from, how they old they are, and what gender they are.

Traffic sources: Where your users are coming from, for example through paid advertising, organic search, or direct.

Events/conversions: The number of unique events (like button clicks, sign up forms, or purchases) that users are participating in. This will give you a good indication if your marketing efforts are working and your conversion rate (the percentage of visitors who are coming to your site and becoming customers).

Security Monitoring

During the set-up of your website your developer or hosting service should have made sure that your website is set up to be protected from online attacks. But this does require monitoring and updating, and there are a few key indicators you can check to spot any malicious activity happening on your website.

Visual changes to your website: If you notice any subtle visual changes to your website or within the HTML contact your website host or run a malware check.

Unauthorised log in attempts: Make sure your website is password protected (ideally with two-factor authentication) and check any notification of unauthorised log in attempts.

Keep plug-ins updated: Plug ins can be a great way to customise your website and improve functionality, but make sure these are kept updated and remove unused plug ins to prevent security breaches.

Hopefully we have you convinced…

As you can see website monitoring has a wealth of benefits that are essential for helping a small business grow.

Contact us for more information about our website maintenance packages and how to get keep your website up and running for years to come!

Sign up to our newsletter

We send out just one email a month stuffed full of fairly interesting marketing and sustainability content. Why not give it a go?